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November 9, 2015

Micah Awe

Lubbock, Texas

Q. Just talk about (Indiscernible) the play this season?
MICAH AWE: Real well, he's maturing, that's for sure. I'm proud of him on that play. I was right behind him, and to see a D-lineman hustle like that and make an athletic play, that's why he was a five-star recruit and it was a five-star play. I'm very proud of him. That's just what we've been doing the whole year. Not giving up and keep fighting.

Q. At the end of the game, the goal line scrum, was it a conscious decision to grab the guy's face mask or were you trying to pull him back?
MICAH AWE: I'm glad you noticed that. I didn't mean to grab his face mask. They blew the whistle and his face mask came off. That's what happened. It was a big mistake by me, but we had other opportunities to close that game out and we didn't. That's the sad part.

But that's life. You've got to keep fighting. Who would have known if we would have gotten off the field on third down the play before or the play after in the first quarter. We don't know. We all make mistakes. So I've just got to learn from it.

Q. After the game as far as that penalty (Indiscernible)?
MICAH AWE: No, because when it comes down to it, I mean, it's two plays, two big plays, two little plays, who knows if that would have won the game or lost the game because at the end of the day we lost. We've got to move on, and as a team, we've just got to know you've got to try your best to be consistent, but you're not.

We're all humans out there. Referees are humans too. We don't expect them to be perfect. I think they do a great job in the Big 12 of refereeing. They did a great job at West Virginia doing what they're supposed to do.

But it's life. I mean, bad things happen, especially the type right now. But it's fine. We've got to move on from that, and we have next game, Kansas State, a very good team coming in. We've got to beat them.

Q. I guess what are some of the challenges they pose (Indiscernible)?
MICAH AWE: It's going to be the same threat everyone else has imposed on us, running the ball. Either way, we see it. We've just got to be consistent this week and stop the run. I think we have a good chance of winning the game if we just stop the run and let everything else take care of itself.

Q. Do you think they'll be fundamentally sound just the way they play solid?
MICAH AWE: Yeah, I mean, a lot of like I said, we're Division I football players, 17 to 22 years old. We still make a lot of mistakes. You make mistakes at this level like I said before. Those running backs in this league are going to take off on you. Even the quarterbacks are going to take off on you.

So we've got to really hunker down, have a clear mind, and play a run defense. I mean, the guys who played very well, the Alabamas and all of them, they do what they're supposed to do. They have talent, they have that. We've got talent. We've just got to do what we're supposed to do, and do what Coach Gibbs tells us to do?

Q. (Indiscernible)?
MICAH AWE: I mean, I'm sad. I prayed for him after that happened, but I think he'll be all right. I mean, we've got to move on. I mean, Malik's still there. We have other linebackers that have been learning this whole time, so we've got to pick up.

I mean, that's how it is. Football is a dangerous sport, and unfortunately it's a business. In the NFL, someone goes down, Hicks from the Texas Longhorns last year, he got a pick six last night in the game. He's been working himself up because he's next guy up. So for Dakota, he'll be back and the rest of us linebackers got to pick up for him.

Q. This is your last week at the Jones. What does that mean to you?
MICAH AWE: It's almost like a graduation for football. I don't know if I'm going to cry, but it's a graduation for football, because all of that, all three years comes down to this one last game that I can't get back or literally would never get back in my life. Just trying to make it a memorable one.

So all I'm going to try to do is be consistent and not do anyone else's job but mine and know I did my best to help this team win, because that's what we need to do on Saturday.

Q. DeAndre went over a 1,000 again second year in a row. You spent a lot of time with him. What have you learned from him in the last couple years?
MICAH AWE: He's a guy that when I was a high schooler watching Texas Tech, he was a big part of that OU win that we had in 2011, I think. He tore his ACL and came back stronger than ever. One thing about DeAndre that most people don't know is he puts in a lot of extra work both physically and doing a lot of rehab stuff. Throughout the whole, from spring, I've seen him there just always in the cold tub. If he's not in the cold tub, he's doing extra jump ropes.

So the thousand yards, I'm not surprised. He literally deserves that, and he earned it, and we have a great O-line that can pass protect and run block. So that just tells you the testament of the talent we have here.

Q. More run on Saturday. You guys talk about how you're going to make any adjustments?
MICAH AWE: Our adjustments are going to be listen to Coach Gibbs better. He literally throughout the game was calling stuff that was perfect, perfect to stop the run. We just didn't get the job done. Nothing's on him. I'll be honest on that. You watch film, and it's literally on me and the other players. It's one guy here, two guys there. But running back happens to see that one hole not fitting right and takes off for 60 yards. So it's not anything we need to change. It's just ourselves. We need to focus and maybe this week should be 90% right instead of 80, and maybe you'll have a better chance.

Q. Are people just trying to do too much or want to be a hero?
MICAH AWE: I think part of it is just us playing together better. I've already been telling those young guys I know they're going to be so good in the future. No one's going to believe that right now, but I'm almost guaranteeing Coach Gibbs is going to get them right.

So right now we're just trying to get the stepping stones right. The first stepping stone is fundamentals. We have the talent. Barden and D'Vonta, those kind of guys, Jah'Shawn Johnson, they're going to be the real rocks of this defense for a couple of years. Right now we've got to learn the fundamentals and then from there take off into being really good defensive players.

Q. You've said repeatedly Coach Gibbs is doing what he needs to do for the defense to be good. And repeatedly he comes out and says all these problems are on me. As a senior captain, do you talk to the team and say, hey, guys, he's taking the fall for us and we need to step up? Does that resonate with you guys?
MICAH AWE: Yeah, part of the problem is I'm right in the middle. Sadly I made mistakes on Saturday that I wasn't supposed to make, and Coach Gibbs, literally, I'm telling you, he calls the right plays at the right time. All we have to do is learn how to listen to him and do it. I can't really say much more; I have to show it. I can say it all day, a thousand times, a million times and it won't make a difference.

We've got to show it, and that's what we're still working on. For Coach Gibbs and the future of these guys, I know it's going to be great because every game that we're going through right now are stepping stones. They're stepping stones.

Even for me, I love this defense because I'm learning a lot. I think it's an NFL-type defense, that it puts a lot on the linebackers, but that's fine. We like it. Me, Dakota, D'Vonta, Malik, we all like that pressure on us because that's what linebackers do is we make tackles.

Q. Is there one moment here at Tech that stands out to you?
MICAH AWE: That's hard. The one moment would probably be just how far I've come with different coaches, this and that, and this last year how everything is coming back around full circle. Even though we're not winning, I still think personally this is one of the best defenses we've had. We just aren't showing it. Also one of the best teammates that I've had since I've been here. Because the camaraderie after five losses in a row, we're not down in there. We're actually really pumped up to go against Kansas State and get this win, which is surprising because no one's being sad. Everyone's ready to go. I'm ready to see what we do Saturday.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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